Gig Ramblings: Theodor Bastard, Cesair, and Jyoti Verhoeff and Maya Fridman

Usually I take notes on the way back and write the actual blog post when I’m slightly more with it. I am, however, painfully aware of the fact that I have an excruciating number of things to do tomorrow and it is a long train journey home. What else am I going to do? Socialise with Dafni and Afroditi?  The horror of that idea! All joking aside (because, of course, I love these two) the fact that they are staying the night at mine means that we are likely to get very little sleep so my productivity is unlikely to be high on Sunday… no matter how long the to-do list! Yes, best to get this written now, no matter what ill stylistic effects writing at this late hour might lead to!

(This photo was taken a couple of moments back. I might have confused them… and myself because I am still useless at taking selfies… and I might have tried to use the wrong phone camera to take this one… twice! I didn’t take any photos at the actual concert though so this is the best I have in terms of illustrating all these words!)

Anyway, back to the focus of this post: tonight’s concert, that of Theodor Bastard, Cesair, and Jyoti Verhoeff and Maya Fridman. As you may have guessed, I went with Dafni and Afroditi, and also with my usual concert partner, the lovely Heleen. Long story short, it was a delightful evening.

The first performers of the night were Jyoti Verhoeff and Maya Fridman (bandcamp | website | spotify) with their piano, cello, and vocals combination. They were also joined by Fieke for a few pieces. Their music is really quite something, with sensitive moments combining with rawer sounds to become somewhat otherworldly overall. I find it quite hard to categorise and describe but very easy to enjoy listening to. I must also admit to being glad to have had an opportunity to watch Maya playing and just cello nerd a bit, albeit from a distance… it’s just two weeks until I visit my parents, see my cello, and get to play a bit and I cannot wait! I should probably note here that I am also extremely excited about visiting my family!

Following on was Cesair (facebook | website | spotify) and, obviously, it was a special evening where they were concerned, as it was their farewell show for the (unfairly skilled) Fieke. This meant that it was a bit of an emotional show at times but all the more exceptional for it. It goes without saying, after all this time and this many blog posts, that Cesair are wonderful live musicians who play music that ranges from ethereal to intense, creating a world of emotion with their sound. The four of us (Heleen, Dafni, Afroditi and I) are also in agreement that we cannot wait for a new CD!

As for this particular concert, the all around production was amazing. The band have an absolutely wonderful onstage dynamic and engage with each other and the audience in a way that compliments the whole experience. They just look like they are having so much fun while performing! In addition, the lighting was particularly striking this time. At times it was too flashy for me as I’m obviously sensitive to that but there were times when the lighting was, quite honestly, exquisite with “Ishtar” sticking in my head for that reason… Oh and Monique’s dress was stunning.

Last up was Theodor Bastard (facebook | website | spotify), a Russian band who I’ve heard of but not listened to properly. I think I was the only one in my group who didn’t really know their music in advance. Sadly, we had to leave early in order to get the last train back. It felt really rude to just walk out part way through their set and  we consoled ourselves by promising each other that we would see them at Castlefest! So yes, apologies to Theodor Bastard for leaving early – it was hard to do but we simply had no choice!

What we did see of their set was promising though. I did like the music (the most important part) and I also rated what I did see of the performance. They used a projection screen with small clips which I, obviously, couldn’t see but have been informed that it was effective. I also liked that, when there were technical difficulties with said projection screen, meaning there was a pause in the music, they managed to keep the crowd engaged, chat a bit and just go with the flow. I always like it when performers are able to work with those little blips that are bound to happen, not only because it’s a skill to be able to do so, but because it’s nice to see something of the humans behind the creativity. I’m looking forward to having a proper listen to some of their music and then seeing them in the summer.

And now I just need to sit here and hope we can make a rather tight connection in order to get back to my place. I don’t fancy walking to my flat from Amsterdam Centraal somehow!



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